Last weekend was GaryCon, in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where it all began. If you’ve never been to this con, I cannot recommend it highly enough. There are thousands of gamers, artists, and vendors, all there to pay homage to Gary Gygax, the co-inventor of Dungeons & Dragons. Also in attendance are dozens of luminaries from the early days of the hobby and TSR, most of whom are happy to chat, sign autographs, and receive free drinks at the bar in the evening.
I arrived Wednesday evening after a 13 hour drive from New Jersey, all done in a single shot.
Unfortunately I was manning the BRW Games booth alone, so I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to do much gaming myself. The one game in an evening slot I would have liked to play was filled up, and the others were all during the day when I was chained to the booth. But that, honestly, was okay, because I got to meet a lot of new friends and fans, see old friends and fans, and speak with a bunch of the Old Guard.
I did get away from the booth long enough to attend the Greyhawk panel on Saturday. Alan “Grodog” Grohe, Mike Bridges, Anna Meyers, and other Greyhawk super-fans gave their impressions of the setting, discussed what other fans were doing (I was mentioned several times – yay!), and generally yapped with the audience about our favorite setting. It was a highlight, and included a physically printed version of the Oerth Journal #28. You can find more info, and some of the handout material and more, here.
I was especially impressed with the setup for the Boot Hill game, Blumville, with various stores and locales named for early TSR folks, such as the Old Kask Corral, the Hammack Hotel, the Lost Kaye Mine, etc. It really looked terrific, and made me wish I could have played:
There was tons of gaming of all sorts going on, both board games and RPGs. I was especially heartened to see a bunch of people playing the old Avalon Hill game Dune, which was a particular favorite of my gaming group back in High School. There were even some cosplayers, including one particularly disturbing Zardoz costume. shudder
All in all, this was a fantastic weekend, and I can’t wait to come back again next year. Hopefully I’ll be able to slip in some more playing, but the hanging out with such wonderful people was a great consolation prize.